Monday, May 03, 2010

Oily wake-up call

Events in the Gulf of Mexico indicate it's time for us to end our dependency on oil.

I remember a time there was a fire in Nanaimo, a city it takes nearly half the day to get to because it's a highway drive, a wait in a line-up and then a ferry ride. Yet as the crow flies, it's barely 30 km (22 miles).

And I remember a day back when I used to live in a house with a view of the sea. I spotted a fiercely black cloud huffing our way. When it reached us, its fury broke: there was rain like I'd never experienced -- hard as if someone were emptying buckets from the sky -- and its smell was nothing like the sweet scent that rain is supposed to have. Later, we learned there'd been a fiery explosion of a fuel storage tank, so the explanation of the oily cloud became clear.

When I hear there is talk in the U.S. of burning off the slick, I fear for the sort of clouds that could be unleashed.

And I wonder too, draining all that oil out of those deep crevices in the earth -- could that have something to do with all the earthquakes we're experiencing? Could the removal of that much mass be triggering slippage of the tectonic plates?

Today is World Press Freedom Day. I feel very lucky to be able to say all these outrageous things, crazy as they may seem. How lucky to know the men in white (or blue, for that matter) won't be coming for me because of what I choose to type.

The scariest part about the oil spill off Louisiana? That our prime minister, Steve Harper, seems to think such an oil spill couldn't happen here.

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